With the friendly clamour of the electronic bell to the tune of “Popeye the Sailor Man”, the children of Soddenham come tumbling out into the streets to find the pink and cream van coming around the corner, already trailing kids like the Pied Piper of Hamlyn – it’s time for a Skinner’s ice cream!
Oh yes, the summers aren’t complete without a cool creamy dairy treat from the occasionally friendly drivers of these familiar vans! What will it be young lady? A cone, tub or wafer? Or splash out on a 99 with all the trimmings? Or is it a lolly you’re after my good fellow? Fruity and sweet like a Skinner’s Fruit-Flavour Frozen lollies, or maybe something sharp and tangy like an Imperial Mint’n’Vinegar Finger? They have it all!
The owner, Frank Skinner (no, not that one) remembers queuing up for ice creams as a boy when, on those rare days when the van came by from Swaffham, little Frankie (as he was then known) vowed to get an ice cream van of his very own! Then the children of Soddenham could enjoy frozen treats just as often as the children of Swaffham did!
Frank worked at the Swaffham based company for a few years, learning the ropes and making plans, until the company was closed down in 1966 following an unfortunate incident when a batch of sour milk was used during the World Cup. Frank managed to buy two vans and some of the machinery and set to work making his own Soddenham Ice Cream.
Before long, Frank and a small team of employees moved into some warehouse space loaned by the Murrow family (in return for discount ices for mill workers!) and moved into their current building in the new Enterprize Zone. In fact, Skinners was the first company to set up base in the newly developed area which was once the home of the world famous Saville’s Bunsen Burner factory! Now it is the home of Skinners Frozen Fingers! Loved by children and adults all over Soddenham, Swaffham and Dereham, these unique flavoured frozen treats are the perfect refreshment on any summers day!
Listen for the bell… listen carefully…